The first time I heard his voice (and he butcher my name) was when he called to cancel a few hours before our first date. Luckily he was smart enough to call and explain that he was really sick since a text message would not have resulted in another chance….That happened just over a year ago.
It seems to be a common theme still for many of my single friends that the men of Vancouver are just lacking in being overall down to earth good guys. From my experience, they don’t approach to talk as they are too timid, or the ones that do, end up being cocky and rude. Don’t get me wrong, there are nice guys in this city, but in comparison to the amount of awesome girls, I feel it’s an unfair advantage that the men can have more options and be choosy. So I thought to try something different.
We met through an online dating website called OkCupid. It’s a free online dating website that makes it easy to set up a profile with a picture and a description of yourself. It also offers a questionnaire which then gives you a matching percentage to other singles, (Craig and I were around 95% matched!). PlentyofFish is another free online dating website, but from personal experience, I found it to be guys who just want to date and have fun versus a long-term relationship. There’s also another senior dating site if you’re above 40 years old.
I saw on his profile that he was from London; I was intrigued. I was curious why he chose to move to Vancouver.
It showed that he was courageous enough to move to the other side of the world and start a whole new life.
Once we rescheduled to meet for weekend brunch, we learned that travel and live music was a passion for both of us. Being able to discuss places you’ve both visited and what you liked or disliked about it gives an interesting perspective into what that person finds important.
I will admit his accent was attractive while also being extremely hard for me to understand and get used to. He quickly realized I wasn’t catching onto his lingo as I was always asking him “what does that mean?” Who knew dating a British Expat meant learning English in a different way!
Given that he had only been in Vancouver for a year and a half, there were tons of places I wanted to take him, and restaurants I knew he’d love.
In less than a week of knowing him, I asked if he wanted to go to Portland for the Canada day long weekend knowing that he hadn’t been before. Somewhat surprised, he said yes. The border crossing is another story for another time, but the conversations and music you can share on a 5-hour drive is a great way to learn about someone new and see how well you get along.
The bonus of him being new to the city means I also get to experience places I have yet to visit and be a tourist in my own city.
A simple one hour ferry took us to Bowen Island where I had never visited in my life, but we enjoyed a nice hike around the lake and visited the local antique stores.
Meeting his friends from work and his previous roommates was nice, but I really wanted to meet the people he grew up with. My first experience of his English mates was a wedding of his university friend who married a girl in her hometown near Seattle, WA. Staying in a waterfront cabin for the weekend with all the out of town English friends was such a nice way to get to know them, see how they party (quite hard) and hear stories of their university days together. It also made me realize I don’t know much about British pop culture and when outnumbered, I do apparently have an accent.
I was also lucky enough to meet his Dad when he visited for a few weeks in September, he even attended my 30th birthday! I must say meeting the parents is easier when they’re a tourist and you can show them all around the city, especially a city like Vancouver where there are tons to see and do.
When my Mom found out I was dating Craig, one of the first questions she asked me was if he was planning on staying and getting his Permanent Residency for Canada, which he recently received.
I think my Mom is now worried that I’m going to move to England with him one day, who knows.
We have already traveled abroad to Costa Rica for a month together and it went smoothly. In August we are going to visit England for a few weeks for another of his friend’s weddings, and I will get a chance to meet more of his friends and family as well see where he grew up. After hearing so many stories about his friends, and him already meeting all of mine, I anticipate getting some dirt on him as well as observing his interactions with the people who knew him from before his life in Canada.
About the Writer
Amrita Gill and Craig Sheppard met in Vancouver, Canada in the summer of 2014 and hit it off instantly with a shared passion for live music, food and above all else travel. Outside of their day jobs, they are planning their next trips, whether it be exploring the beautiful province of British Columbia, the West coast of America, or beyond. In addition to their love of traveling; blogging seemed like the next logical step combining Amrita’s love for writing and Craig’s passion for photography. Both are ecstatic to be a part of the Two Monkey’s Family and look forward to sharing their adventures with you.
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